Fourth of July weekend outdoor and drive-in events

The celebration does go on… it’s just a little different.

By Vanessa Vallon


As we continue to social distance, finding something fun, festive and safe to do on Fourth of July is proving slightly challenging this year. Not to mention many of the large gatherings we’re used to—fireworks, 5Ks, parades—have been cancelled. But the celebration goes on, just perhaps not in the form we’re used to. From drive-in fireworks to movies under the stars, here are some safe and unique ways to celebrate Fourth of July in major metropolitan areas of the country. As always, please follow all federal, state, and local rules as they pertain to gathering and social distancing.

Los Angeles

Although LA county still has many restrictions in place, surrounding counties are offering some opportunities for celebration. Consider hitting Santa Clarita’s 2020 Spirit of America Fireworks Spectacular, or take the 10 to the Irwindale Speedway for their 4th of July Drive-In Fireworks Spectacular. For the loud-noise-averse, consider a drive-in viewing of “Shrek” at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Las Vegas

Most go-to events in Sin City have been cancelled this year, but a few will go on, including Fireworks at the Plaza, downtown Las Vegas’ only live fireworks show, starting at 10pm on the Fourth. The City of Henderson’s 2020 Star-Spangled Sky will launch from four locations, however, viewers are encouraged to avoid launch sites as no viewing accommodations will be offered. They can, however, find a great view in their car and tune into various iHeartRadio stations for accompanying music. On the morning of Fourth, the beloved 26th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade will go on…line. Check out their website for more information of the sure-to-be socially-distanced bash.

St. Louis

A business concept that’s perfectly equipped for the current times, Drive-In St. Louis has four days of events lined up for Schnucks Freedom Fest, and is prepared to entertain car-folk with everything from musical performances and movies to fireworks and a classic car show. The festivities take place in the parking lot of the now-closed St. Louise Mills outlet mall. Some concessions will be available, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages.


Although its Independence Day bash on June 27 has been cancelled, Klyde Warren Park has invited a select group of healthcare workers and their families to attend a fireworks show in their honor, which will be recorded and broadcast on KTVT-CBS 11 at 9:30 PM CT on July 4. Fort Worth’s Fourth at Panther’s Island Pavilion will no longer host the festival portion of the event, but will still launch fireworks on July 4; attendees are encouraged to watch from home (fear not: the fireworks will be shot higher this year so there’s no bad seat in the (literal) house).


The Navy Pier fireworks show has been cancelled this year, but the city has come up with some clever ways for Chicogoans to celebrate safely. To encourage partying at home, the city is hosting a virtual music festival with live DJ sets as well as an “Independence Day Salute” concert with the Grant Park Orchestra. You’ll want to get your dancing shoes out (and invite some friends over) for SummerDance in Place, a Fourth of July at-home salsa dance livestream, consisting of a half hour dance lesson by Latin Street followed by 60 minutes of live salsa music by Afinca’o.

New York

Fourth of July will be better than ever this year for New Yorkers, who will get multiple fireworks shows to choose from! So folks don’t have to travel far from their homes, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show will pop up in all five boroughs starting on Monday, June 29 and concluding with a grand finale, headlined by John Legend and televised on NBC, on Saturday, July 4.